In A bid to woo Muslims, RJD chief and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Wednesday exhorted the community not to get divided as it was against the tenets of Islam and guard against communal forces, which were trying to break the communal harmony of the nation.
Lalu also made a frontal attack on NDA’s prime ministerial candidate and senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, stating that his ambition of holding the top post would never be fulfilled.
“I have been a student of political science. I know the political pulse. It is my prediction that Advani would never be PM. The UPA will come back to power,” he said, while addressing a gathering at a function organised to mark the birth anniversary of former Speaker, Ghulam Sarwar at the S K Memorial hall.
Incidentally, Lalu played up the Muslim card by recalling the episode of Advani’s arrest in Bihar in 1990 and the role of the BJP in Gujarat riots as well as Malegoan blasts. Lalu recalled how he had got Advani arrested for the sake of teaching communal forces a lesson stating that he dared to take the decision despite much odds. “After initial leaks, I kept the strategy to arrest Advani a secret. I had also directed all the DMs to keep the ammunition in their armoury ready for any eventuality,” he said, expressing that he would give all details of those eventful days in his book.
Significantly, the RJD chief made an oblique reference to the Bhagalpur riots by stressing that he had never known ‘ Kamehswar Yadav’, one of the person’s accused in the riots. The NDA had charged that Kameshwar was close to the RJD in 90s.
In the same vein, the RJD chief laid emphasis that his rivals had always raised fingers on his initiatives for Muslim empowerment during the 15-year-rule. “ I am accused of making Bihar a Pakistan. But I did not ever neglect the minorities and even allowed Urdu as a medium in the BPSC examination. Now, the Nitish Kumar Government is trying to discontinue it,” he said, adding that the Chief Minister was playing to the tunes of the BJP. RJD chief also talked of the UPA Government’s several schemes for empowerment of the Muslims in education and health.
Earlier, the RJD chief paid rich tributes to Sarwar describing the former Speaker as a secularist and a big journalist. Other prominent speakers, including Shakeel Ahmed Khan, Ghulam Gauss, Ram Kripal Yadav and Ram Chandra Purbe charged the State Government of neglecting Urdu language in the State while exhorting the Muslims not to get influenced by the divisive forces.